Election 2010 Lookahead: Sunday 11 April

The who, when and where of the campaign.

Twenty five days to go and counting:

Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats

All three parties are being a little cagey about their campaigning plans today, perhaps too busy finishing off their manifestos (Labour is due to unveil its own tomorrow, the Tory party on Tuesday). So we know, for example, that Nick Clegg is visiting three constituencies today and travelling in a plane chartered from RAF Northolt, but to which constituencies, we don't know. Meanwhile, we're guessing it's a day of rest for Sam Cam after her visit to Yorkshire yesterday and some expert video blogging. Meanwhile, the big question in Labour circles is whether Gordon Brown will disappear to Hampden Park at 3pm to watch the Scottish Cup semi-final featuring Raith Rovers and Dundee United. Brown is a lifelong Raith Rovers fan.

Other parties

The British National Party's Nick Griffin continues his "National Weekend of Action", aka some canvassing in Barking and Dagenham with the BNP London Assembly member, Richard Barnbrook. In response, the RMT union has organised an anti-BNP rally in Barking. Among those expected to attend are the union's general secretary, Bob Crow, the musician Billy Bragg and the former England footballer Luther Blissett, representing Show Racism the Red Card.

The media

With the usual mix of The Andrew Marr Show and the Politics Show today, let us mark your card for the other leaders' debates. While Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are prepping for their first head-to-head-to-head on Thursday 15 April (8.30pm, ITV1), leaders from the Scottish Parliament will also be debating soon. For your diary, the dates to see the Scottish First Minister and SNP leader, Alex Salmond, the Scottish Conservatives leader, Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, and the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Tavish Scott, are 20 April (STV), 25 April (Sky) and 2 May (BBC).

Away from the campaign trail

. . . and on to another campaign. Sudan is holding its first multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections in 24 years. Today's twice-delayed poll is the first since 1986, when Sadiq al-Mahdi's Umma party was victorious. Three years later the government was overthrown in a military coup that ultimately brought Omar el-Bashir to power.

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Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

#Match4Lara
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#Match4Lara: Lara has found her match, but the search for mixed-race donors isn't over

A UK blood cancer charity has seen an "unprecedented spike" in donors from mixed race and ethnic minority backgrounds since the campaign started. 

Lara Casalotti, the 24-year-old known round the world for her family's race to find her a stem cell donor, has found her match. As long as all goes ahead as planned, she will undergo a transplant in March.

Casalotti was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in December, and doctors predicted that she would need a stem cell transplant by April. As I wrote a few weeks ago, her Thai-Italian heritage was a stumbling block, both thanks to biology (successful donors tend to fit your racial profile), and the fact that mixed-race people only make up around 3 per cent of international stem cell registries. The number of non-mixed minorities is also relatively low. 

That's why Casalotti's family launched a high profile campaign in the US, Thailand, Italy and the US to encourage more people - especially those from mixed or minority backgrounds - to register. It worked: the family estimates that upwards of 20,000 people have signed up through the campaign in less than a month.

Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, also reported an "unprecedented spike" of donors from black, Asian, ethcnic minority or mixed race backgrounds. At certain points in the campaign over half of those signing up were from these groups, the highest proportion ever seen by the charity. 

Interestingly, it's not particularly likely that the campaign found Casalotti her match. Patient confidentiality regulations protect the nationality and identity of the donor, but Emily Rosselli from Anthony Nolan tells me that most patients don't find their donors through individual campaigns: 

 It’s usually unlikely that an individual finds their own match through their own campaign purely because there are tens of thousands of tissue types out there and hundreds of people around the world joining donor registers every day (which currently stand at 26 million).

Though we can't know for sure, it's more likely that Casalotti's campaign will help scores of people from these backgrounds in future, as it has (and may continue to) increased donations from much-needed groups. To that end, the Match4Lara campaign is continuing: the family has said that drives and events over the next few weeks will go ahead. 

You can sign up to the registry in your country via the Match4Lara website here.

Barbara Speed is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman and a staff writer at CityMetric.